What’s great about martial arts, is that the subject, when seen as an entirety is truly a journey of self growth and development.
Our city, Birmingham seems to be undergoing exactly that, regeneration, expansion, development of our transportation infrastructure and self reinvention. It has come a long way from being a small hamlet over 1400 years ago..!
It’s prospects are great, because it develops not for the time it’s in, but for the time that lies ahead. It becomes the architect of it’s own future..
Martial arts can be viewed in a similar way.
For many, their practicing days end with middle age, perhaps the ‘edge’ isn’t what it used to be.. But there is so much more to learn!!
Beyond the physical exuberance of youth, lies potentially a greater depth of understanding, the perfection of technique and the development of the spirit that draws people to martial arts and keeps them practicing for decades..
The old masters, became the experts, perhaps not because of simply ‘natural ability’, but because of ‘time on the mat’ and their quest for self betterment, their daily practice and the transmission of their learning to others.
A martial arts exponent, should always seek to grow, to exceed their levels and get to grips with extensions of their favoured art.
Every martial art form has it’s pioneers, who move it on and innovate, evolving the art into new areas and in tune with the potential of it’s future.
Celebrate the birthplaces of all combative arts, all of those centuries ago and pay homage to those that began the process of forming systems, kata, training formats etc. They had a lot less to work with, in comparison to what is available today. Physics, biomechanics, sports science etc, bring the pursuance of understanding closer to the individual. Still, instinct, gut feel, experience and an enquiring and creative mind can bring huge leaps forward.
There is no winning formula, simply trial and error. And that should be an ongoing journey, nothings stays still in this world and each art should evolve in line with it’s future purpose. That’s enough to keep any sensei busy for a lifetime..